IT WAS a season of mixed outcomes for Harlow’s two cricket clubs in 2018, after the sides met for the first time in 24 years.
Both clubs’ first teams were playing in Division Two of the Shepherd Neame Essex League, after Harlow Cricket Club (CC) were relegated from Division One in 2017, whilst Harlow Town CC were promoted from Division Three.
In theory Harlow should have been favourites to do well this season, however they ultimately finished bottom of the division in tenth and were relegated once again. Harlow Town finished a respectable fourth, narrowly missing out on successive promotions.
Harlow CC President Alan Howick said he thinks the team have under-performed this season, despite having great team spirit. He believes the first team will need to rebuild in 2019 and in the meantime there is a lot of “soul-searching and head-scratching” to be done.
Initially, it looked as though Harlow Town would struggle to cement their place in Division Two in 2018 as they failed to win any of their first seven games. However, they then won seven of the next ten games starting with the first of two meetings between the local rivals on June 30, which they won by 86 runs.
When asked about the rivalry between the two sides, Howick said: “There is a rivalry certainly, but it’s sensible.” He explained that many of the players from both sides are of a similar age and have grown up together.
Harlow won three out of six games between June 23 and July 28 to give them hope of staying up, but then lost their next five, a run which ended with their second defeat to Harlow Town.
Harlow Town won this match by 56 runs, unfortunately consigning Harlow to relegation in the process.